Ableism is defined as discriminating against a person with a disability in favor of an able-bodied person Inspiration Porn is defined as being inspired by someone just because they have a disability. When I was young these terms did not exist. The first time I heard them I was confused. I did not understand what the terms meant.
Growing up I never thought about being proud of my disability. I was disabled. I had CP. I wasn't proud of it. I wasn't ashamed of it. It was part of me. It wasn't who I was. I knew that, inside, I was just like everyone else. The difficult part was getting everyone around me to see me that way.
Before I entered The George Warren Brown School of Social Work my mother was told, by The Dean of Admissions, that the school did not want me. .GWB had to accept me because I met the qualifications for admission..My first advisor told me that he "would rather see me fail than help me." I didn't make a big deal of it. I got rid of that advisor. I was determined to prove the school wrong. I did.
I have been told twice, by The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, that I am unemployable. Again, I am determined to prove that wrong.
I guess I view things differently than the majority of disabled people. The ADA has opened many doors for people with disabilities. However, a part of me thinks it is sad that people with disabilities won't have the experiences I did in seeking to get an education and find employment. Those experiences made me a stronger person,
I have been patted on the head, both literally and figuratively, more times than I can count. I have been spoken to condescendingly and ignored. It is not right, but when you are disabled, (sometimes). you have to deal with it.
Ableism and Inspiration Porn have always existed. The only difference today is now they have names and definitions. I don't think that I will ever truly be thought of as equal by society. There will always be people who will view me as different. In a perfect world that wouldn't be the case. The world isn't perfect. I am different. I need services and assistance that others don't. That's not a bad thing. That's just how it is.
I try to live the best life I can. I keep pushing forward toward my goals. I continue to advocate and raise awareness through my writing.
Maybe someday the world will be perfect. Maybe someday we won't need terms like Ableism and Inspiration Porn. Maybe someday everyone will look at me and not see my wheelchair. Maybe someday everyone will really see me. Maybe someday.